An upcoming high-performance version of the Porsche Cayenne Coupe SUV has broken the lap record for SUVs at the Nurburgring, the brand has confirmed.
The mystery flagship Cayenne variant lapped the official 20.832km layout of Germany's iconic Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in seven minutes and 38.925 seconds – a record for a vehicle in the 'SUV, off-road vehicle, van, pick-up' category, with the Porsche beating the Audi RS Q8's previous record-setting time of seven minutes and 42.253 seconds around the same layout.
The Cayenne's time makes it quicker than everything from the BMW M5 super sedan and Renault Megane Trophy-R track-focused hot hatch, to previous-generation supercars such as the Lamborghini Murcielago, 997.2-generation Porsche 911 Turbo S, and what was once the world's fastest car, the original Bugatti Veyron.
Porsche test driver Lars Kern set the record-breaking time in a lightly-camouflaged, series-production version of the upcoming halo SUV, equipped with a race bucket seat and a roll cage for safety, but fitted with the same Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres as the showroom-bound vehicle.
"Over the first few metres of the Nordschleife in this Cayenne, you're tempted to turn around to make sure that you're really sitting in a spacious SUV. Its high steering precision and stoically stable rear axle gave me a lot of confidence in the Hatzenbach section," said Kern.
"It changed direction at lightning speed in the fast curves such as between Hohe Acht and Eiskurve, with no wobble and no tendency to understeer. Even in this technical stretch, the Cayenne is a real driver's car that is easy to control."
"This Cayenne model is a top performer. During its development, we focused on exceptional on-road performance. Our record-breaking Cayenne is based on the Cayenne Turbo Coupe, though more systematically designed for maximum longitudinal and lateral dynamics," added Stefan Weckbach, vice president of the Cayenne model line.
Due to be unveiled towards the end of June, overseas media drives report the new, high-performance Cayenne variant will be sold only in sloped-roofline Coupe guise, and will sit above the existing Cayenne Turbo in the soon-to-be-facelifted Cayenne range.
Powering the model is slated to be an uprated version of the Turbo's 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, sending 470kW and 850Nm to the road through a retuned eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-biased all-wheel drive system.
Changes focused at improving driving dynamics are set to include wider 22-inch alloy wheels, Pirelli tyres specifically designed for the model, revised suspension geometry, stiffer springs and dampers, a carbon-fibre roof, titanium sports exhaust system (with central tailpipes), and additional air intakes for increased cooling.
There's also a handful of aerodynamic tweaks, and retuned adaptive air suspension and rear-wheel steering systems.
The new 2022 Porsche Cayenne Coupe variant will be unveiled at the end of June, sources indicate.